Friday, March 7, 2014

Hope Springs Eternal: Start From Seed

Hello! Yes, hope springs eternal, as in we hope spring eventually turns up! Every time I think we've finally turned the corner from winter into spring - as in today's high in the upper 30's - we get word that it's supposed to be in the low 20's at some point next week. 

But no matter what the current weather is, and when spring will finally be here for good, a gardener who starts plants from seed has to do the sowing several weeks in advance. So recently I sowed seeds of various tomatoes plus some zinnia and cosmos seeds. 

Had an excellent indoor "greenhouse" this year: I'd saved the large tray with domed lid that our daughter's Open House cake had come in. At the time, I thought it'd be good for transporting things like veggie trays to parties, but realized it'd work just fine for my seed-sowing efforts too. I could fit several 4-cell containers on the tray, and the lid snapped on securely. I set a heating pad to low and placed it under the tray to give my seeds a warm head start. 

I was rewarded a few days later with this:

Above, some Stupice tomatoes have sprung up. They'll be thinned to one plant per cell once the second leaves come in. 

Stupice is an early variety, small in size but very prolific. It's meant for cooler summers. The summer of 2012 was very hot, and this variety didn't hold up as well then. Of course, that was the year I'd started several Stupices since our previous summers here seemed short and relatively cool to me. (As compared to where we'd been living the previous 11 years.)

I'm particularly proud of these Stupice plants since they were grown from seed I'd saved from a tomato. We had used up all the seeds a few years ago and would have had to send away for another packet. However, Stupice is an heirloom variety, which means it'll come back true to type from its seeds (not true for hybrid varieties). Looked up some simple online directions for seed-saving, and as you can see, it was a success!

I've also started seeds of Sweet 100 (a cherry tomato) and Delicious (a bigger, slicing type). I didn't get around to ordering OG Whopper seeds from Park Seeds, but I'm hoping that the Farmers' Market vendor I got plants of that variety last year (Boeve's) will have them again this year. It's a reliable, very tasty tomato. 

And as I'd mentioned, I've started zinnia and cosmos seeds as well. I like to grow these to cut for bouquets. Zinnias always spell "summer" to me. 

But first, we have to wait for spring to arrive!

No comments:

Post a Comment